The Road to Somewhere
The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics
A robust and timely investigation into the political and moral fault-lines that divide Brexit Britain — and how a new settlement may be achieved.
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Several decades of greater economic and cultural openness in the West have not benefited all our citizens. Among those who have been left behind, a populist politics of culture and identity has successfully challenged the traditional politics of Left and Right, creating a new division: between the mobile ‘achieved’ identity of the people from Anywhere, and the marginalised, roots-based identity of the people from Somewhere. This schism accounts for the Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump, the decline of the centre-left, and the rise of populism across Europe.
David Goodhart’s compelling investigation of the new global politics reveals how the Somewhere backlash is a democratic response to the dominance of Anywhere interests, in everything from mass higher education to mass immigration.
David Goodhart is the founding editor of Prospect magazine and one of the most distinctive voices on British politics today. He is currently head of the Demography, Immigration and Integration Unit at the think tank Policy Exchange, and was previously director of the centre-left think tank Demos. His last book The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration (2013) was runner-up for the Orwell Prize in 2014 and was a finalist for ‘Political Book of the Year’ in the Paddy Power Political Book Awards. David voted remain in the EU referendum and has been a mainly inactive member of the Labour Party since he was a student.
INTRODUCTION: THE GREAT DIVIDE
1. ANYWHERES AND SOMEWHERES The Decline (but not Disappearance) of Traditional Values; Higher Education and Mobility; The Great Liberalisation; The Outriders
2. EUROPEAN POPULISM AND THE CRISIS OF THE LEFT What is Populism and Why it is Normal; America and Europe: The Populist Convergence; Populist parties: The Decent, the Weird and the Ugly; Why Populists Damage the Left Most
3. GLOBALISATION, EUROPE AND THE PERSISTENCE OF THE NATIONAL World on the move?; The Globalisation Overshoot; The European Tragedy; The Persistence of the National
4. A FOREIGN COUNTRY? The Immigration Story; What About Integration?; The London Conceit
5. THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC DEMORALISATION The Disappearing Middle; A Short History of Education and Training; Living Standards and Inequality; Short Termism and Foreign Ownership
6. THE ACHIEVEMENT SOCIETY What is Actually Happening on Mobility?; Making it into the Elite
7. WHAT ABOUT THE FAMILY? More State, Less Family; What do Women Want?; Supporting Partnerships in an Age of Male-Female Equality
8. A NEW SETTLEMENT? Somewheres are not going; Anywhere Giving Somewheres Voice
‘Goodhart offers an impeccably sensible and decent exposition of how the political elites have failed their societies … The book makes compelling reading both for voters and those who want to get elected by them.’ — Max Hastings, The Sunday Times
‘[Goodhart] has written a book that is thoughtful, well argued and dangerously moderate. It may even be an incitement to independent thinking.’ — Robbie Millen, The Times
‘[A] provocative take on the UK’s new tribal divisions … And it broadly works … The Road to Somewhere has the feel of a book whose timing … is pitch-perfect.’ — Andrew Marr, New Statesman
‘Goodhart’s exploration of this underlying divide — and the question of what might be done — is not only timely but also offers an accessible, evidence-based and direct account of how these conflicts are reshaping the political world around us.’ — Matthew Goodwin, Financial Times
‘Whatever other objections Goodhart’s new book might provoke, few could call it irrelevant or untimely … he returns to this most vexed terrain, picking his way through nettles and thorns that might deter thinner-skinned writers.’ —Jonathan Freedland, Guardian
‘Goodhart has clarity of argument and courage. He has been making these points for a decade and urging the mainstream to engage with them. He does not do fads.’ — The Observer
‘[Goodhart] has written what may turn out to be the most sympathetic and insightful book about Britain’s discontented masses.’ — Toby Young, The Spectator
‘Mr Goodhart’s book seems likely to inform the debate on what post-Brexit Britain should look like.’ — The Economist
‘This meticulously researched book … enables us to imagine Brexit as a moment that could just prove to be the start of a national renewal.’ — Prospect
‘Challenging and illuminating.’ — Will Hutton
‘David Goodhart offers the best and most complete explanation I’ve seen for why things seem to be coming apart in so many countries at the same time. If the leaders of Britain and the EU had read The Road to Somewhere twenty years ago, things might look very different today.’ — Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind
‘David Goodhart has been ahead of the curve in understanding the challenges facing British society. In a post-Brexit, post-Trump world, his voice deserves to be heard more than ever. A crucial contribution to the debate about where Britain, and the centre-left, go from here.’ — Rachel Reeves MP
‘No one has thought more deeply about the relationship between solidarity and diversity in the twenty-first century than David Goodhart. In The Road to Somewhere, he transcends the rhetoric of populism and globalism to make a compelling case for a new vision of community.’ — Michael Lind, author of The Next American Nation
‘The existential conflict of our times is not between left and right nor between “open” and “closed”. As David Goodhart shows, it is between “people from Somewhere” and “people from Anywhere”. This brilliant book will radically change your idea of what is to be progressive in the twenty-first century’ — Ivan Krastev, author of Democracy Disrupted: The Global Politics of Protest
‘While the rest of the world was reeling in shock at recent popular revolts against elites, David Goodhart was writing the book that anticipates and explains recent events. Never shying away from difficult themes, Goodhart has the courage to challenge and where necessary dismantle liberal orthodoxies. We all need to read this prescient, persuasive, discomforting book.’ — Claire Fox, writer and broadcaster